Children With Special Needs Get Uplifting Experience While Flying Indoors

By Angela Greenwood

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — It was love at first flight for a group of special needs kids Wednesday evening.  As part of its one-year anniversary, iFLY Sacramento celebrated people with disabilities by inviting them in for an uplifting experience with no barriers.

Just like that, special needs children had wings. One special needs child said he “loved it.”

Normally, Cannon Aiono relies on a wheelchair. But Wednesday night, he was flying high inside iFLY Sacramento.

“I like how we went up and down,” Aiono said.

Aiono was on cloud nine; so were the rest of the kids. It was a first time experience for most of the children, each living with mental or physical disabilities. But at iFLY Sacramento, there are no limits.

“To make the dream a flight a reality for everyone. There are no limitations in the tunnel,” said Cameron Cole, iFLY Sacramento’s general manager.

That’s always been iFLY Sacramento’s motto. It’s the world’s largest indoor skydiving facility and it celebrated it’s one year anniversary with an “all-ability” night.

“Most of these kids have been disabled since birth, so for them to be able to do something like this, it’s just incredible,” said Cindy Elie, a parent of a special needs child.

Proud parents snapped pictures, while siblings cheered each other on.

“I love it. The smile on his face … I’ve never seen him have such a wonderful smile,” said Marsha Corrigan, the grandmother of a special needs child.

“My brother’s autistic and he did a good job,” said one sister.

Inger Aiono says seeing her son moving freely takes her breath away.

“It just makes me wanna cry because I just thought they did great with him in there. I didn’t think that that was possible.”

Bobbie Wood became disabled after a spinal cord injury, and since flying at iFLY, her mobility has improved. She says what’s being offered here is more than just fun.

“I think it gives the feeling to concentrate on what you can do and not what you can’t do,” Wood said.

iFLY Sacramento’s anniversary celebration continues all week with themed nights.  Friday, it will honor hero’s, including first responders, police, firefighters and military members, with a discount.

 

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